Many thanks to Colorado Spirit Counselor, Ivette Ceballos, for writing this week’s piece.
El Día del Niño, otherwise known as Children’s Day in America, is a celebration held on April 30th that originated in Mexico but is now celebrated around the world. During this holiday many parents buy their children gifts and schools hold big celebrations with games, candy, music, and much more. Children are celebrated and cherished all day and it is a time that allows us to reflect on how important the well-being of our children is. In honor of this celebration, The AllHealth Network Colorado Spirit Team would like to offer ways in which we can empower and support the children in our lives.
Be present and tune in…
It is amazing what we can learn from children when we simply observe. Whether you’re a parent watching your children play or a schoolteacher teaching them a new skill, there is a lot to learn from children when we tune in. Set aside 5-10 minutes to be mindful and present during any activity with your child. Notice how they talk, play, and move. Ask questions and actively listen to their responses. This practice allows us to meet our children where they are at in the present time.
We like to say that you should speak to yourself as you would speak to a loved one. Instilling this positive internal conversation within children can have a huge impact on their social and emotional wellbeing. When we speak words of kindness to ourselves, we feel more empowered and confident. It works the same in children. These affirmations can be mantras that children can repeat such as “I am brave, I am strong, I am loved.” They can also be used throughout the day praising your child for the things they do, for example, “you have great ideas, it’s okay to make mistakes, I believe in you.”
Validate their feelings…
Children may be small in comparison to adults, but their emotions are not. The way they experience emotions is very different from the way adults do and it is important that we hold space for them to navigate those feelings and feel that they are supported. During stressful times that might be difficult to do but talking through those difficult emotions can help bring children back to baseline. Encouraging them to step back, breathe and reflect can be beneficial when they feel overwhelmed. The more we allow children to “feel their feelings” the more they will feel empowered and safe.
Whether you may raise children, teach them, advocate for them, or simply want to show love and support, we can all find a way to celebrate El Día del Niño.
If speaking to someone would help, please reach out.
AllHealth Network provides several supports:
- To speak with someone in the Colorado Spirit Program about stress related to the pandemic, please call 720-707-6789 or visit our webpage at allhealthnetwork.org/Colorado-Spirit
- For information about other services at AllHealth Network or to get connected with ongoing behavioral health support, please call 303-730-8858. AllHealth Network is continuing to provide service via telehealth or by phone and our Crisis Walk-in Center remains open 24/7.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis and are in need of immediate assistance, please call the Colorado Crisis Hotline at 1-844-493-8255 (TALK) or text TALK to 38255.
How do you know if you’re experiencing a mental health crisis? Click here to learn about mental health crisis warning signs to look out for from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
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- More ideas on words of affirmations to use with children: https://www.imom.com/20-affirmations-to-build-your-childs-self-esteem/
- More information on how you can practice mindfulness with your children: https://blissfulkids.com/how-to-practice-mindfulness-with-children-the-essential-guide/
- How we can validate children’s emotions and why it is important to do so: https://www.psychalive.org/why-important-parents-validate-children/